The US Senate recently voted against the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would have crippled a key cog in the NSA’s spying capabilities. The bill garnered a vote of 58-42, just two votes shy of passing as outlined in a report from The New York Times.
The USA Freedom Act would have prevented the NSA from continuing to collect the phone record metadata of Americans. The data in question would have still been collected by phone companies although a new type of court order would have been needed for government agencies to obtain it.
The bill had the support of a number of major technology companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo as well as the Obama administration. Even the director of the NSA and the former director of National Intelligence were in favor of it.
Those against the bill, including Senator Mitch McConnell, believe the NSA’s tactics are necessary in the fight against terrorist. McConnell said this is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs.
Those in favor of it, like Senator Patrick Leahy who drafted it, said it protects Americans and would end the indiscriminate data collection process while keeping the tools the intelligence community needs to protect the nation.
What’s your take on the matter? Do you think the NSA should be forced to end its controversial phone record collection practices or is it necessary to help protect the country against terrorist attacks? Sound off in the comments section below.